Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Review: "Breaking Ties"by Jo Grafford

The tale of Rose Payne leaving behind everything she knows for the unknown in America was phenomenal! From the first chapter I was hooked and couldn't bear to put the book down. Intrigue, betrayal, and mystery plague the colonists aboard the three ships traveling to their new home. Just when you think you've figured out who is behind the problems another twist in the tale leaves you guessing yet again.

The attraction between Rose and the mysterious Manteo is very captivating! Each interaction between them leaves you wanting to know what will happen next. More than once Manteo comes to help Rose out of the bind she's in and shows her through his action what's in his heart. Though Rose isn't looking for love, it finds her.

I absolutely cannot wait to see what Jo Grafford writes next! I'll be looking for the second book in this series actively! As soon as it's available I'm buying it! This is a fantastic clean romance that was well thought out and written expertly! Jo definitely did her research for this novel.

Visit Jo Grafford's website.

Purchase Breaking Ties from Amazon.

Purchase Breaking Ties from Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: "The Dead Game" by Susanne Leist

Today I finished reading "The Dead Game" by Susanne Leist. This book isn't what I typically read but did like her style!

“The Dead Game” is very well written. The author has a gift at being descriptive and a talent with spinning a tale. This book will keep you guessing. Even when you think you’ve gotten everything figured out something new changes things for the reader and the characters.

The only two issues I have with this novel are that it just didn’t draw me in and there is an overabundance of characters in the book. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this book. It just wasn’t typically the type of novel that I read. Trying to keep all of the characters straight became difficult at times. For those who are into spine tingling tales and vampires they will love it.

Purchase "The Dead Game" on Amazon!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to Work!

I've been away from the blog for a while now. I've just been extremely busy at my day job and by the time I get home at night all I want to do is relax. Well things have settled back down and I am able to get back to working on what I love: writing! Specifically right now I am editing.

Back in April I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and finished a novel that I'd called Pagan Ways. Well, I've changed the title to The Old Ways and am working with my publisher to get it ready for publication. Today I've been editing like a fiend! I hope to have it ready to go to some beta readers in a couple of days. Speaking of beta reading, if you're interested in beta reading for me, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you.

Currently The Search for Mrs. Claus is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and is on several different book websites! Check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Smashwords as well! If you are interested in obtaining a FREE copy of The Search for Mrs. Claus in exchange for reviewing the book for me, please let me know and I'll get you a code for a free download from Smashwords!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and stay tuned for more updates about my books as they come!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: "The One" by Steve Justice

Tonight I finished reading "The One" by Steve Justice. This was definitely not my usual book that I'd choose. However, different is good! Below is my review of his novel that I've posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

This novel is very different from my usual choice of books. However different is a good thing. The story of the professor and Hana Kim is reminiscent of Lolita with a more modern twist.

The story is a little bit slow in the beginning but the words Steve Justice uses weave a tapestry of a tale bringing the imagery and emotions to life on the pages before you. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. I was captivated by this novel and truly look forward to reading more of the works of Steve Justice.

Purchase "The One" on Amazon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I've Been Rescued!

I've been rescued!

As you all know, my publishing experience has been filled with difficulties. From formatting issues to lack of communication, things were pretty rough. Last week I severed ties with my publisher. I wish them all the best but it was best for me to move on.

After terminating my contract I had a long discussion with my husband about my troubles. From problems in 2009 with a vanity press to my recent publishing concerns I wasn't exactly interested in putting myself in the position to have someone else in control of my books and be set up for that same difficult situation once more.

Enter the knight in shining armor on a white horse! My husband has started a traditional publishing house! Let me introduce you all to Rescue House Publishing! Rescue House Publishing is different from other publishers out there. I'll let him explain more about it on his website. The website is still under construction, but keep checking back for more info. In short, it's a traditional house where the authors have a lot more control over their books than most other houses. Rescue House Publishing is also a clean publisher. That means the books need to be PG-13. No erotica or porn here. If you write clean books and are looking for a traditional publishing option, keep checking in for calls for submissions. Once he's ready, he will let you all know. Rescue House Publishing also believes in giving back to the community. Dogs are one of our passions and a portion of our sales will be donated to Rescues to Heroes, a local organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be service dogs for the disabled. It's a great way to give back to the community!

Meanwhile, "The Search for Mrs. Claus" has been republished with Rescue House Publishing! I am so excited to be able to publish my books with a house that truly was created for the benefit of authors and to be able to give back to the community with my work!

If you'd like more information about Rescue House Publishing please e-mail Nick Daisey at and he will get back with you.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Author2Author with Alisha Guenzel

Today I'd like to invite everyone to check out the books of my friend and fellow author Alisha Guenzel. Alisha's debut novel "Unspoken Dreams" is published with the same house as "The Search for Mrs. Claus." Alisha is married and the mother of five children. Her passions are her family, her horses, and her writing.

Courtney: What made you decide to become a writer?

Alisha: I couldn’t talk as a kid and I found it much easier to make friends on paper. Like any other writer, stories come to me. And if I don’t write them down my mind is filled with that story until it is written.

Courtney: Your first novel “Unspoken Dreams” is very poignant. Tell me what events in your life led you to write this novel?

Alisha: To be honest Courtney I have an eight year old boy with autism. I wrote the original "Unspoken Dreams" when I was a moody teenager and I was going through a lot of changes at the time. When I picked up my old manuscript it just started out as something to do while I took care of my five kids while my husband was out of town. But as I began to write I saw I was putting in a lot of my experiences with my own son into the story. I’ve been asked if it’s a non-fiction story and I tell people no. But it does have a bit of reality. As you know yourself from reading "Unspoken Dreams", Jaime has many issues he must work through every day. That is real. Autism can be scary, that is real. The hope of a normal life is real. But what also is real is the hope of acceptance. I see it every day online. These parents of kids who are just diagnosed are heart breaking to me. So I put my real life experiences into "Unspoken Dreams." The tantrums, the "jitters." The frustration I felt as I raised not just my son but daughter as a single mother. The improvement in Jaime as he met Jonathan came from my experience of when I met my husband John. He taught Rhett (my son) how to control his behavior and today people can’t believe he has autism. Rhett talks, laughs, and functions. I want people to know that there is hope for a bright future. I know that is a lot and probably more than you asked for. But life is what led me to write my first novel.

Courtney: Do you have a particular method you use to write (like outlining) or do you just write as it comes to you?

Alisha: Oh my method is crazy and messy at first. I just write at first. But I have a big black 2” notebook that holds ideas for scenes and outlines and character sketches. I first start with the story in my head. Then I do what’s called a character sketch to see my character. For example for "The McGregor Saga" I have character sketches on all three brothers and their love interests. What they like, dislike, how they look, their hair and eye color stuff like that. Even what kind of food they like. Then after I finish the first draft I read it and do two sets of rewrites until I have the story where I want it. And even then I go over it again. I learned a lot while publishing “Unspoken Dreams” and I want my saga to be better so I begin with one draft of the story the outline really and then after I put in what I think the story should be I go back to my character sketches and see what my characters want the story to be. I know that sounds crazy but I look at it this way. As a writer I build the stepping stones to the story but my characters really tell it.

Courtney: Tell me about your upcoming novel “A Cowboy’s Duty.”

Alisha: Well to be honest Courtney I changed the name to "Jason’s Duty." It is book one of a series called "The McGregor Saga." The saga takes place in Montana and there are three brothers: Jason, Jesse, and Jude. All three are romances. But they are each different in their own way. For example in "Jason’s Duty" it revolves around the eldest McGregor. Jason Jameson McGregor. He’s his father’s foreman on his horse ranch. He’s a trainer and he is a country boy with lots of chores. But when a car accident brings his father’s friends daughter and wife to their ranch Jason’s world is turned upside down. He can’t do his job because his mother puts him in charge of watching over Haley (daughter of a friend) and Jason starts out really hating her but as time goes on he starts to fall for her and he feels torn between his heart and his duty as his father’s foreman. It’s kind of special to me because the main horse characters in the book are inspired by my own horses Ranger, Lilly, and Peanut. And some of the scenes with them are stuff that I do every day with my own horses.

Courtney: What or who inspired you to write?

Alisha: My Gram. From a very young age she taught me to dream big dreams. And to not limit my ability to go for what I want. My first A+ in school was a paper that I wrote about her house. It was labeled “My Favorite Place”. After she read it, she saw the talent I had and always encouraged me to keep writing.

Courtney: Tell me about your publication process. What did it entail?

Alisha: A lot of work but it’s fun. I started with a vanity press before I joined MSH. Then Allison Bruning took interest in "Unspoken Dreams" and wanted it because it had to do with autism. The editing part of it was a lot of work but after learning more about the craft of writing and learning how to make webpages and teasers even book trailers it was a lot of fun. It’s like my Gram always told me: “Alisha, nothing in life comes for free. You must work for what you want, if you don’t it’s not worth having.”

Courtney: Why do you write? Is it for fame, money, or the story?

Alisha: I would have to say the stories. I may not write a best seller but they are my stories. If I can bring hope to one struggling mom/dad of an Autistic child I have done my job. Would I like to be known or have someone just wait for my next book? Sure what author doesn’t but if I just write “Unspoken Dreams” and "The McGregor Saga" and that’s it and it’s made someone smile then I’m happy. Of course I want to make money but Rome wasn’t built in a day either. So I’ll just keep working and creating because that is my job.

Courtney: Is there a particular author that really influences your writing?

Alisha: I would have to say Devika Fernando. She really made me think about my story “Unspoken Dreams.” She taught me to listen to my characters and to not be afraid to do more. For example “Unspoken Dreams” was released earlier this year. And it was a good book but it was my first. I see it going places but just like everything else in life it needed time to sit and after I went back to it I saw where I could make it better and I did. Devika showed me that there is always room to improve your story.

Courtney: What are your goals over the next five years, both personally and as a writer?

Alisha: I hope to be as happy in five years that I am now. I have everything I need or want, a wonderful husband, five kids that bring me pride and joy to be called their mom. I have a horse who although is challenging is my best friend. So in five years I hope I can just be happy. As far as my writing, I’m not sure. I hope to have my name known in book stores. But then again I’m just starting out. I would like to say I hope "Unspoken Dreams" and "The McGregor Saga" is a success and that I go on to write more stories.

Courtney: What’s your favorite part of writing? Also, what’s your least favorite part?

Alisha: My favorite part of writing...hmmm...that is so hard because everything is so much fun. I love creating the story. But what writer doesn’t right? The rewriting can be a little discouraging at times because I have an idea in my head and when I realize I have to edit to make it better I think to myself “And I’m a published author?” I know that’s silly but it’s the truth. Editing is the hardest. But oh how I LOVE promoting! I know to most writers that’s the worst part but it runs a close second to be my favorite part of writing. I love it because the job is done and you get to play with ideas on how to get your audience hooked.

Be sure to check out Alisha's links below to keep up with her books and writing!

Facebook Author Page:

Web Page:

Book Trailer for Unspoken Dreams:


Book Page:

Book Page for Jason’s Duty:

Book Trailer for Jason’s Duty:

Book Page for Jesse’s Choice:

Book Page for Dancing with Jude:


Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review: Etched in History by Amanda Marie

I like to read on my lunch break at work. Having the Kindle app on my tablet makes that very easy. Earlier this week I purchased "Etched in History" by Amanda Marie and began reading it. To say this novel is phenomenal would be an understatement!

I really enjoy reading historical romances and novels. I'm a huge fan of "North and South" and "Gone With the Wind." Though set in the same time frame, this novel is quite different from either of those. Below is the review I left this wonderful book on Amazon and Goodreads.

"This book captivated me from the first chapter! The story is completely different from what you're used to seeing out of a romance from a post-Civil War setting. This is a story about love and overcoming differences in a time when differences are shunned.

Unlike many stories, this one was told from the perspectives of all of the characters involved. I really enjoyed this because it allowed me to see into the thoughts of each character as the events were taking place. Amanda Marie makes it very easy for readers to know who is speaking and thinking though so there's no way you can get confused.

This was a very sweet historical romance! It's about love, not physicality. I could easily see this being made into a movie. It was a truly excellent read! I take my Kindle with me to work and read on my lunch break. I can't tell you how many times over the past few days reading this book I wanted my lunch break to be longer so I could keep reading! I look forward to reading more of Amanda Marie's novels!"

If you're looking for a clean, captivating romance novel, this one's for you. Snag a copy of "Etched in History" today. I promise you that you'll enjoy it.

Etched in History - Amazon

Etched in History- Smashwords